The grass IS ALWAYS greener in Detroit… at least that seems to be the case for Dan Cleary.
It was just a couple of days ago that it looked like the Wings and the veteran free agent forward were going their separate ways with Cleary signing a three-year, $8.25 million dollar deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. However within the last 78 hours Cleary apparently did a complete 180 on what was apparently a handshake deal leaving plenty of money on the table to sign a one-year, $1.75 million dollar contract to stay with the Wings.
"I just followed my heart and did what I knew would make me happy" – Dan Cleary
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 12, 2013
Cleary confirmed his intention to re-up with Detroit via text message to local media before boarding plane for Traverse City where he will officially sign the deal tonight and begin training camp with his teammates.
“We think we’re a better team with Clears,” Holland said. “He’s a versatile on the wing, he’s good in the locker room. In the end, he flew up (Wednesday) to meet with (coach Mike Babcock) and I at the airport and his message was he wanted to be a Red Wing and he wanted to work with us.”
But with the Cleary signing the Wings dug themselves into a deeper hole when it comes to the salary cap.
According to Cap Geek, the Wings have 17 forwards under contract with just 14 spots available. This includes being roughly $2.3 million dollars over the cap.
— CapGeek (@capgeek) September 12, 2013
Obviously the Wings will have to move to clear cap space and roster spots which could be difficult considering Gustav Nyquist is the only forward who waiver exempt. The odd men out come the start of the regular season very well could be Jordin Tootoo, Cory Emmerton, Tomas Tatar, Mikael Samuelsson, Patrick Eaves or Todd Bertuzzi